Josh Gerstein of the New York Sun and freelancer Thomas Lipscomb are the only two reporters who have undertaken to resolve the mystery of John Kerry’s SF-180. Earlier this month we noted their stories on the subject in “Mixed-up.” Having received copies of the three Kerry SF-180 forms (posted below) pursuant to a FOIA request, Gerstein returns to the subject today in “Kerry grants three reporters broad access to Navy records.” Gerstein quotes John O’Neill, who no longer raises any question about the manner in which the forms were filled out:
One of Mr. Kerry’s most steadfast critics, Houston attorney John O’Neill, said yesterday that the latest information from the Navy did not address the issue of whether Mr. Kerry’s record might have been purged. “The real question was, was other material in there and was anything expunged?” Mr. O’Neill said.
In this article Gerstein does not return to the question he had addressed earlier regarding the location of Kerry’s complete military records. In his earlier article, he quoted a Navy spokesman asserting that the released documents constituted “the whole record.” What does the National Personnel Records Center say? We don’t know. Gerstein concludes his article on this note:
Mr. Kerry first promised to make public his full Navy record more than a year ago. Mr. Kerry signed the waivers for the wire service [Glen Johnson of the AP] and the Globe on May 20. The form for the Times was signed June 6.
A spokesman for Mr. Kerry rebuffed a request from the Sun for access to the service and medical files released to the other three news organizations.
When the Globe’s Michael Kranish reported on Kerry’s records earlier this month, I noted that Kerry was either the world’s worst politician or that something was missing from his records. I believe that observation still applies.
UPDATE: Reader John Boyle points out this June 10 New York Sun item attributed to a staff writer:
A top official at the national repository for military personnel files confirmed yesterday that the full record of the Navy service of Senator Kerry, a Democrat of Massachusetts, was sent to the Navy to prepare responses to requests from Mr. Kerry and others for his service history.